17 October 2023

Why ESG is all about doing the right thing

Car driving in the woods. Profile image of Liselott Johansson

Environmental, Social and Governance – or “ESG” as it’s commonly known – is one of the main focus areas for businesses right now. There is a big push for companies to commit to ESG efforts and the regulatory landscape is changing fast. But, aside from the legislation, there’s something important to remember: ESG is all about doing the right thing.

Download now: Everything you need to know about ESG reporting

ESG is a way to formalize positive actions

Most of us want to make good choices in life. We want to do the right thing for the environment, and for the communities in which we live. The same principle applies to ESG in business. It’s simply the right thing to do. As a business, do you want your activities to negatively affect the environment, or the communities in which your employees and customers live? Of course not!

Implementing an ESG framework helps you to formalize this standpoint. As an organization you should be proud of the actions you take to minimize or neutralize your carbon footprint. You should also be proud of the policies and programs you put in place to protect the safety of your employees and communities in which you operate. ESG reporting is a great way to shout about your positive efforts.

ESG matters to stakeholders

Investors, customers, and other company stakeholders are looking for proof of ESG efforts. Today, you need to not only “talk the talk” but also “walk the walk”. This is particularly relevant given the recent attention on greenwashing, where companies make bold environmental claims without meaningfully reducing their climate impact.

The call for sustainable businesses is louder than ever – from every stakeholder. Transparency matters, as does data to back up claims. Investors, customers, partners, and suppliers all want to see quantifiable action towards ESG. And, perhaps of equal importance, they want to know that ESG is important to your company, not just a “tick the box” exercise. Thankfully, getting started is easy – we can help you to start measuring CO2 impact with just 1km of GPS data.

Protecting the planet from global warming

The recently published Climate Change 2023: Synthesis Report is based on years of work by hundreds of scientists. In it, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) highlights the scale of the challenge due to a continued increase in greenhouse gas emissions.

“In this decade, accelerated action to adapt to climate change is essential to close the gap between existing adaptation and what is needed. Meanwhile, keeping warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels requires deep, rapid and sustained greenhouse gas emissions reductions in all sectors,” states the report.

Emissions will need to be cut by almost half by 2030, if warming is to be limited to 1.5°C.

The impact of doing nothing

The IPCC report names some of the most damaging effects of climate change. For example:

  • Widespread and rapid changes in the atmosphere, ocean, cryosphere, and biosphere have occurred.
  • Human-caused climate change is already affecting many weather and climate extremes in every region across the globe. This has led to widespread adverse impacts and related losses and damages to nature and people.
  • Vulnerable communities who have historically contributed the least to current climate change are disproportionately affected.
  • In the last decade, deaths from floods, droughts and storms were 15 times higher in highly vulnerable regions.

The report also states that, “There is a rapidly closing window of opportunity to secure a liveable and sustainable future for all” and that “Limiting human-caused global warming requires net zero CO2 emissions.”

Climate change is endangering children

UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Fund, has drawn attention to the effects of climate change on children. Shockingly, it states that, “Every year, environmental factors take the lives of 1.7 million children under five.”

UNICEF explains that climate change seriously affects children’s access to health, food, water, clean air, and education. Extremes in weather mean a reduced chance of a happy, healthy future, for many children. For example, when floods hit, schools and health clinics can be destroyed. When droughts occur, children can spend less time in school due to having to walk miles to collect water.

The implications of the Paris Agreement

The Paris Agreement was a landmark agreement in that, for the first time, virtually every country in the world agreed to take real action to tackle climate change.

The goal of the Paris Agreement was to cut global greenhouse gases to limit global temperature increases as close as possible to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Its success is dependent on everyone – including businesses and individuals rethinking how their actions impact the environment. It doesn’t have to be difficult. At Greater Than, we convert your GPS data into powerful crash probability and climate impact insights, helping you to utilize the insights to do the right thing.

Doing the right thing for road safety

Consider this. Approximately 1.35 million people die each year as a result of road traffic crashes. About 1 in 3 road deaths, 1 in 5 seriously injured casualties and 1 in 4 casualties of all severities are sustained when someone is driving for work.

Introducing policies to measure, manage and mitigate road crashes is evidence of your commitment to the safety of not only your employees but of the general public. Road safety falls within the “Social” pillar of ESG. Managing road safety can deliver significant human and societal benefits whilst also resulting in many business benefits too. These include reductions in cost of ownership, collisions, damage, repairs, insurance costs, loss of working time, claims, vehicle wear and tear, CO2 emissions, EV battery usage, paperwork and replacement driver costs.

Uncovering added business value from ESG efforts

Doing the right thing for the environment and society brings with it many advantages and opportunities. For example, cost savings, competitive advantage, opportunities for innovation, opportunities to attract new customers, and brand awareness.

Implementing a culture of ESG commitment can also positively influence employees. Therefore, you might expect increases in well-being, loyalty, and job satisfaction. Of course, with current and incoming legislation, being ahead of ESG management and reporting also helps you meet the requirements of the regulatory landscape, possibly ahead of time. Check out our eGuide for everything you need to know about sustainability legislation and ESG reporting.

Getting started with ESG is easy

At Greater Than, we’re proud to empower our customers with crash probability and climate impact insights that support ESG efforts and help you to do the right thing.

All that’s needed to get started is GPS data, which can be shared with us via a simple API connection. Once a company connects to our platform, our AI processes and analyzes every trip against billions of previous real-world trips. This identifies patterns in driving behavior and provides insight into climate impact. The analyzed data can be pushed to a company’s existing fleet management system, a driver app, SDK or visualized via one of Greater Than’s add-on solutions.

To learn more about the actions you can take to do the right thing in relation to ESG, please contact Greater Than or book a meeting today.